Dec 8, 2015

The Workshop at the 2015 Quinte Model Railroad Show

The S Scale Workshop was on the move in early December, attending the Quinte Model Railroad Show in eastern Ontario on December 5-6.  Five of our members attended - including Jim Martin, who writes...


Paul, John, Jim, Andy and Brian: Smiles all around!
Paul Raham and John Johnston had their Marshall Station and Burnt River Siding modules set up along Andy Malette’s Brewery module and my Culverhouse Cannery module. These, along with a train-length staging turntable, gave us a linear exhibit some 41 feet long.

Paul Raham prepares to turn trains on the train-length staging turntable. Some of the other workshop members can be seen in the distance. The hallway location was perfect for a long, narrow configuration and the layout received a lot of attention from show-goers.
Vistors photograph the layout as Workshop member John Johnston rolls a freight extra through the Culverhouse Cannery module.
The show was held in the Quinte High School in three different auditoria.  However we were located in one of the hallways, a good thing because we were seen by everyone walking to and from the different halls.

One of the Workshop's newest members, Brain Nicholson of Montreal, had a table beside us where he was selling off much of his HO equipment to finance his new S scale bug. It was good to see him again along with his partner Louise who was a cheerful addition to our group.

It was also great to see Daniel McConnachie - a fellow S scaler from Kingston who helped us keep the crowd entertained on Saturday. And our friend Dennis Rowe, who works in HO, enhanced our modules with some of his superlative hand-made trees. (Thanks for the gifts, Dennis!)

Because this is a Christmas show we relaxed our fine scale standards a wee bit. Andy had his Christmas train with Santa and Rudolf and hoppers loaded with candy canes, along with a miniature Christmas tree lot.

Of course Santa travels by Maine Central: "The Pine Tree Route". The annual appearance of Andy's Santa Special is always a crowd pleaser!

Rudolph hitches a ride in a covered hopper

The Jolly Old Elf is the conductor - but who is the engineer?
A flatcar load is delivered to the seasonal tree lot across the tracks from the Great White North Brewery. The brewery is decorated for the holidays, too.
Meanwhile - to see if the kids were paying attention - Paul had an elephant* among the cows:

A carload o' candy canes rolls past as Jumbo trumpets in the pasture.
(*No pachyderms were harmed in the making of our production.)

Coal in your stocking? Great - run a steam locomotive with it!

Our next outings will be Copetown and Cobourg on the same March 5th weekend. This will be a first for the Workshop, appearing at two different venues at the same time. Such is the flexibility of Free-mo.

John, who organizes the Cobourg show was unavailable for Copetown when its date was moved from February to March. So John and Paul will hold the fort at Cobourg while Simon Parent, David Clubine, Andy and I have committed our modules for the Copetown show.

Copetown will be special for us this year as it will be the 20th anniversary of our formation and the tenth anniversary of our switch to Free-mo. In fact, our Free-mo layout made its debut at Copetown in 1996.

- Jim

Aug 18, 2015

Video from Exporail 2015

Five members of the S Scale Workshop - Simon, Andy, John, Jim and Brian - put on a killer show this past weekend at "A great passion for model trains", the annual train show at Exporail - Canada's railway museum in Saint-Constant Quebec.

Follow this link to read about the weekend's events.

When he wasn't busy running trains, Simon found time to grab some video of the Workshop's layout:

Enjoy if you watch and maybe we'll see you at a model railway show sometime! Check our upcoming events page to find out where we're exhibiting.

The Workshop at Exporail 2015

Five members of the S Scale Workshop - Simon, Andy, John, Jim and Brian - put on a killer show this past weekend at "A great passion for model trains", the annual train show at Exporail - Canada's railway museum in Saint-Constant Quebec.

(Click on each image for a larger view)

An overview of the S Scale Workshop layout as set up at the museum. The two-day show was very well attended.
Simon runs a train past the Great White North brewery on Andy Malette's module.
Andy runs a passenger train while John waits for clearance.
The show is unusual in that there are no vendors - just exhibitors. That said, it was very well attended and there's nothing like having beautifully preserved examples of the real thing on site to make a train show special. As Jim put it, "It was totally cool to look over my shoulder from the layout duties and look down on two icons beside each other: Royal Hudson 2850 and Gresley Pacific, The Dominion of Canada."

The view from the layout. Not bad, eh?
Another view of the hall.
The layout ran with few issues and the DCC system worked almost flawlessly. There were some eager young show-goers who pushed buttons and accidentally threw switches under trains - but no harm done.

The show was also the public debut for two new pieces of equipment on the layout. Simon showed off his recently-completed CNR 4205 - a scratch-built 2-10-2. Meantime, Andy fielded CNR 2526 - a 2-8-0 that started life as a Missouri Pacific consolidation but had so much work done on it that it might as well be scratch-built, too. Both are exquisite as the photos attest:

Simon's 2-10-2 easily handled a 26-car freight, including a dozen brass hopper cars.
CNR 4205 crosses the bridge on John's module. 
The 4205 is an imposing sight, even at a distance.
CNR 4205 drifts past the brewery with a long cut of hoppers in tow.
Andy's 2-8-0 looks right at home as it prepares to switch the brewery.
Andy in charge of his terrific locomotive kit bash.
CNR 2526 with a cut of eight-hatch reefers, also built by Andy from resin kits he produced.
CNR 2526: Andy has nicely rendered this handsome and versatile road engine in 1:64.
Here are some more views of the layout at Exporail. We'll share some videos in a separate posting, too.

Jim's Culverhouse Cannery module. Each module has a sign describing what's being modelled and since we exhibit in both Quebec and Ontario, we post all signs in both official languages.
A busy day at the brewery.
A short freight in the hole, preparing to work the brewery.
Another overview of the layout as presented at Exporail.
The S Scale Workshop's modules include many small vignettes, like this one.
Once again, the Free-mo-style modular format came to the rescue as some members were not able to make it - but those who did report it was a fantastic weekend so there's always another year!

Apr 25, 2015

Visit us at Exporail : August 2015

We're excited to announce that members of the S Scale Workshop will be taking part in this year's model railway exhibition at Exporail - the Canadian Railway Museum!

The show is called "A great passion for model trains", and it takes place August 15-16, 2015 at the museum.

What a great chance to visit the museum's impressive collection of Canadian railway locomotives and rolling stock, and then see our interpretation of these in 1:64.

We've just received the application form and we are determining the space available to us, as well as which members can make the trip. But we hope to field a layout as least as extensive as the one we took to Laval PQ last October:

As our plans firm up we will add more information to this site. Stay tuned!

Video from the North Shore Train Show

Okay: This is months after the fact, I know...

But Workshop member Simon Parent captured several videos of our modular layout in action at The North Shore Train Show last October.

This show marked the first time we had return loops in the layout, and it allowed us to run much longer trains than we have at previous shows. A great time was had by all, and we're looking forward to getting together again to run trains and socialize.

If you haven't yet seen Simon's videos, here they are:

(Click on the YouTube logo in the lower right corner of each video to watch it directly on YouTube, where you might be able to enjoy it in larger formats.)

Oct 2, 2014

North Shore Train Show : Here we come!

Several of our members will be exhibiting our S scale, Free-mo style modular layout at The North Shore Train Show - October 4-5 in Laval, Québec, Canada.

Here's the link to the exhibit's website, where you'll find hours and directions:

North Shore Train Show

If you're in the greater Montréal area this coming weekend, why not come out and say hello?

Here's the plan for the layout we will be exhibiting - click on the image to view it full-size:

Hope to see you there!

- Trevor

Sep 24, 2014

16 feet of scenery...

(Click on each image for a larger view)

Division Street sections

Judge Farm sections

This week I finished wiring my modules, with a lot of help from fellow Workshop member Chris Abbott (thanks Chris!)

With wiring behind me, I've been able to turn to scenery. I've added basic ground cover to the four four-foot sections shown in the photos here. I've also ballasted the track.

The photos were taken while the glue was still wet, so there are some pretty evident glue streaks in the ground cover and a funky shine to some areas. That's going away as the glue dries.

(It's exactly the wrong time of year to be doing scenery, too: cool and dry air that doesn't soak up humidity, yet also warm enough that we're not running the furnace. The glue is taking forever to dry...)

While I'm making great progress, I still have six more feet worth of module sections to do: They're wired and ready to run, but still at the pink foam board stage. I'll tackle those next, to get them to the same state as the pieces shown here. Then I can try to get some more detailing done before the North Shore Train Show - happening in 10 days in Laval, Québec.

I hope to see you there!

- Trevor